NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Bernie Goetz said he thought he was going to be mugged by a man who turned out to be a plainclothes cop arresting him in a low-level drug sting - the same explanation he used nearly three decades ago when he opened fire on four panhandling youths on a subway train.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Police think a suicidal gunman was on a mission of violence when he calmly entered a third-floor urology office and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing one doctor, critically wounding another and shooting a third victim after warning patients and their children in a waiting area to "get out."
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont city of only 17,000 souls just smashed the national one-day record for blood donations - and it's likely to stand for quite a while.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers anxious over tight insurance deadlines and lingering computer problems during the holidays will get extra time to pay their premiums under President Barack Obama's health care law, insurers announced Wednesday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel. But not all experts are on board with the advice - including the federal agency that appointed the group.
PURPORTED ZIMMERMAN ARTWORK LISTED ON AUCTION SITE: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Artwork reportedly created by George Zimmerman is attracting bids of more than $100,000 on eBay.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station, a massive repair job that could stretch to Christmas Day.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee man is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a motorcyclist several times and backing his SUV into another - after almost hitting them as they exited an interstate.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $636 million for Tuesday night's drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - After listening to his sermons for 24 years, parishioners of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church probably thought they knew the Rev. Juan D. McFarland.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 21-year-old man and his 22-year-old girlfriend are accused of attacking a Las Vegas school crossing guard who witnesses told police waved them to a stop in an Audi sedan as it sped through a school zone, according to an arrest report made public Tuesday.
NORTHUMBERLAND, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man was charged with child endangerment after police said a 9-year-old boy who was staying at his home died of an apparent drug overdose.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah school bus driver was arrested Monday on suspicion of DUI after driving erratically and nearly hitting a car on a busy stretch of highway while taking 67 elementary-school students on a field trip, authorities said.
NEW YORK (AP) - What is the price of being forced to raise a brown baby?
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Just two days after a convicted murderer had been released from prison, he was arrested and charged in the beating death of his 64-year-old mother, authorities said.
NEWTON, N.J. (AP) - Hunters who bring in a bear to be weighed in New Jersey once the season starts will receive a cookbook that includes such recipes as "bear on a satay stick" and "grilled bear loin with brown sugar paste" to remind them that the animals are edible.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Pounding rain and tornado watches didn't deter hundreds of protesters Monday outside Ferguson police headquarters, where they stayed for almost four hours to mark how long 18-year-old Michael Brown's body was left in a street after he was fatally shot by police.
PLEASANT HILL, La. (AP) - A 10-month-old girl trapped underneath the decomposing body of her father for up to three days could be released Monday afternoon from a Shreveport hospital, a deputy coroner said.
JUDGE REJECTS BID FOR CONCEALED GUNS AT NC FAIR: RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A judge rejected an effort on Monday to force the North Carolina State Fair to allow concealed-carry permit holders to bring handguns, saying it would be "unwise and imprudent" to let weapons into the event.
DALLAS (AP) - A "breach of protocol" at the hospital where Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan was treated before his death led to the infection of a health care worker with the deadly virus, and other caregivers could potentially be exposed, federal health officials said Sunday.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Some facts of the case aren't in dispute: A teacher's aide asked a 14-year-old girl to go into a middle school bathroom as bait so a 16-year-old eight-grader with a history of sexual harassment could be caught trying to have sex with her and disciplined.
MECHANIC FALLS, Maine (AP) - A Halloween-themed hayride loaded with passengers crashed down a hill in the Maine woods and slammed into a tree, fatally injuring a teenage girl and leaving more than 20 other people hurt, police said Sunday.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City is preparing to end its ban on cellphones in schools, dooming an industry that sprang up near dozens of schools where teens could park their phones in a van for a dollar a day.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Court decisions this week paving the way for same-sex marriage to become legal in dozens of states, including Mormon strongholds like Utah, Idaho and Nevada, have emboldened a growing group of Latter-day Saints who are pushing the conservative church to become more accepting of gay members.